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The Obama administration is challenging a controversial Alabama immigration law that is widely considered one of the strictest in the nation.
In a motion filed with a U.S. appeals court on Friday, the Justice Department called for enforcement of the law to be blocked, arguing that it encourages discrimination and subjects state residents to unwarranted scrutiny from local officials, according to the Associated Press.
The law, the government lawyers argued in their motion, is "highly likely to expose persons lawfully in the United States, including school children, to new difficulties in routine dealings."
Passed in June, the Alabama law allows authorities to question individuals they suspect of being illegal immigrants and to detain them without bond. It also allows law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of students in public schools.
The government’s motion challenges an earlier decision from a federal judge that upheld the most controversial provisions of the law in question.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said in a statement that he would continue to enforce the law, despite the federal government's appeal. "I remain committed to seeing that this law is fully implemented," he said. "We will continue to defend this law against any and all challenges."